I think that City Press are being more than a little disingenuous in this article, which appeared in last Sunday’s edition, when they imply that Cosatu is being hypocritical by objecting to toll roads while benefiting by investments in a firm engaged in road construction.
Trade union federation Cosatu, an outspoken critic of toll roads, secretly benefits from a construction company involved in building new highways.
City Press can reveal that Cosatu’s investment arm, Kopano Ke Matla, has shares in Raubex, a construction company that won a tender to build one of Gauteng’s highways that are now being tolled to pay for the construction.
As far as I am aware, Cosatu has no objections, in principle, to road improvement. The point at issue is not improving the roads, but the method of paying for them.
Road construction has to be paid for, no matter who builds the roads.
For Cosatu the issue is not who builds the roads, but who owns the roads, and how they are paid for.
And the ones who are being hypocritical and confusing the issue are those in facour of tolling who keep uttering their mantra “user pays”.
Cosatu and others who object to toll roads say that roads should be paid for by a fuel tax, which is fairest, easiest to administer, and is the best possible application of the “user pays” principle. Its main disadvantage is that it doesn’t give enough opportunities for the elites to make money from kickbacks from the manufacturers of the toll-recording equipment.